Google Targeted By US For Antitrust Behavior With Dominant Android OS

Google is once again taking heat from the Federal Trade Commission, according to Bloomberg. The FTC is apparently in the very early stages of determining whether Google’s handling of its Android mobile phone operating system violated antitrust laws. With both Google and the FTC offering no official information about the possible investigation, it’s not clear yet how seriously the FTC is taking the matter.

The heart of the problem this time appears to involve the services Google offers on Android. Some companies that provide related service appear to have complained that Android restricts them in ways that it doesn’t restrict Google’s own products. So far, it’s unclear which businesses have brought complaints to the FTC or how Google could be giving priority to its own services. If the FTC doesn’t find sufficient evidence of such practices, an investigation could be ruled out before it begins.

Google plex

Antitrust allegations have been causing Google headaches for years, though the investigations have never been as dramatic as the Microsoft’s 21-year war with the U.S. government. Google tangled with the FTC over its search engine several years ago, when complaints arose about the way Google displayed search results. An FTC analysis from 2012 (but revealed earlier this year) showed that some at the FTC had concerns about Google’s practices. Ultimately, the FTC decided to close the investigation.  

More recently, the European Union has been a thorn in Google’s side, lobbing antitrust allegations at the company for its Android operating system. Google has vehemently denied the charges. Now, the company will be defending itself at home, as well.